I lugged the damp and heavy clothes out of the washing machine and into the basket. Clothes once covered in dirt (and who knows what else) from a hard days work. I heave the heavy load on my hip and carry it outside. The breeze is strong, the sun is shining, and the air smells spring fresh. As I begin to pin each piece one by one on the line my mind makes a connection to something I've been mulling over these past few days.
We all carry our own load. Sometimes we let other people help. Sometimes we heave it alone. Sometimes we leave our unmentionables spinning in the dryer while the "more appropriate" things hang on the line. Are we clean enough? Will we ever be clean enough?
There is a beautiful song by Sara Groves called "Different Kinds of Happy" and simply stated it's about "Intimacy".
When I hear the song I think mainly about my relationship with my husband. Until about 5 1/2 years ago we really didn't have intimacy (and I'm not talking about the "act of intimacy" here). We lacked that open sharing, connecting, "bearing our souls" kind of relationship the song describes. I don't know if I thought we were doing it then or not. Maybe I didn't realize how important it was. Experiencing intimacy with another person is freeing and honest and a God thing. Do you have this kind of intimacy in any of your relationships?
And with each piece of clothing the line starts drooping more and more and pretty soon I'm searching for a prop to lift the line up.
This intimacy can be brother & sisterly, too. A place where you can share the truth of who you are with another friend. There is power in getting lies out of your head. If you keep it all in, if you hide who you are and how you feel, then you are in bondage. You will be held back. You will not have joy. You will feel tired and defeated. I'm thinking about the accountability my husband has with his best friend. A relationship built on a "this is me" foundation. A weekly appointment with each other where they share the burdens of this life with each other, admit their struggles, and look to the other for encouragment, support, and sometimes rebuke. A band of brothers. A paracleet. An accountability partner.
You know the sin and yuck you hide inside. You know the lies you believe. You know the chains you carry. Do you bring them to God? Do you allow yourself to "feel clean"? Can you hang it all out on the line, even the unmentionables? Are you afraid? Do you admit them to your spouse or good friend? Do you allow your spouse or friend to be a prop for you when things feel really heavy? Can you ask them to help you with the load?
The clothes are clean. The wind blows them dry. The prop keeps them from getting dirty again. They smell like fresh air. And when I take them off the line I know they get clean to get dirty. We will meet back at the washing machine again next week. But there is always hope for clean clothes and a place to go to wash them.
We have hope and a place to go, too. I encourage you today to reach out to God with your burdens. Become clean through sharing with a friend. Have an honest, soul bearing relationship with your spouse. It's not a question of do you want to, but that you have to.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." JOHN 8:32